Fleet-footed South African criminals are soon to feel the long arm of the law upon their shoulders, after years of making speedy getaways.
For the country’s boys in blue are being ordered to shape up or ship out, after a study found that more than half of the force is medically obese.
Sadly, the current crop of coppers seems rather less agile than South Africa’s national animal, the Springbok, which is known for its leaps of up to 13ft.
About 200 police trainees kicked off a fitness programme, called Viva Fitness!, where officers will be required to maintain the uniform size issued when they leave the academy.
Those who grow out of their uniform will be given the opportunity to get back into shape within a year, or face losing their jobs.
The police service has committed to trying to install gyms at all police stations, as well as signing agreements with private gym partners to provide subsidised facilities for their staff.
National police commissioner Bheki Cele said: “Police officers should be able to walk with their heads held high, their stomach in, and chest out – not the other way around.”